Comcast deleted pledge not to create fast lanes, investigation reveals

Comcast tweaked the net neutrality position posted on its website last April.

After noting that Comcast changed its stance on paid prioritization earlier this week, tech blog Ars Technica used Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to prove its point. 

In April, Ars contends, Comcast tweaked the net neutrality position posted on its website, changing the overall language and, most notably, removing the clause stating, “Comcast doesn’t prioritize internet traffic or create paid fast lanes.”

RELATED: Comcast subtly backs off promise of no paid prioritization

This is how the site appears now:

And this is how the site looked before the tweak in April (courtesy of Wayback Machine):

Comcast released a statement earlier this week indicating it has no plans to establish paid prioritization. 

“Our commitments are the same as they’ve been since the FCC first adopted the Open Internet rules we supported in 2010, that we won’t block, that we won’t throttle, that we won’t discriminate against lawful content,” Comcast spokeswoman Sean Fitzmaurice told FierceCable this morning. “We’ve said consistently we’ve not entered into paid prioritization agreements and have no plans to do so. No matter what the skeptics say, you can’t accurately convert an unequivocal statement that Comcast has no plans to enter into any paid prioritization arrangement into plans for paid prioritization.”

Ars has spearheaded a testy, back-and-forth dialogue with the No. 1 U.S. cable company, noting earlier this week that Comcast’s top regulatory executive, David Cohen, has slightly changed his tune on the issue of paid prioritization, with a Republican-led FCC about to unravel Title II ISP restrictions. 

Ars noted that Cohen and other Comcast executives are no longer issuing flat denials that they’ll not establish such things as internet fast lanes in the future. Rather, they are now parsing words, specifying that they won’t engage in “anticompetitive” paid prioritization.